There's busking, and then there's air-busking. Gospel singer Bobbi Storm has gone viral for the latter.
Storm's failure to stop singing aboard a Delta Airlines aircraft last Friday was met with a lot of turbulence over the weekend. The Maverick City Music singer defied repeated instructions to "be quiet" before the flight took off and is facing criticism for her decision.
The singer, who announced to the passengers on the Friday flight that she had just been nominated for two Grammy Awards, said she just wanted to share her joy with her fellow passengers despite being told she was causing a disturbance.
"It's not a disturbance," Storm said in footage of the incident posted on her Instagram account. The musician said she used to sing on planes and had not dealt with pushback before.
"I just found out I'm up for two Grammys — my very first time, you guys," she said in the video. But when the flight attendant asked her if she was able to be quiet, she replied: 'But they're enjoying it. So why..."
"I'm not enjoying it," the flight attendant said. "So I'm asking you, can you be quiet? It's a yes or no answer, please."
The conversation escalated and Storm asked if she was going to go to jail if she didn't pipe down, arguing that she was doing "what the Lord is telling me to do."
In response, the flight attendant reaffirmed his position: "I'm your flight leader," he said. "I need you to follow my instructions. My instruction is for you to answer my question: Are you able to be quiet right now?" Later, he said that if she didn't follow his instructions she would "be unable to take this flight."
Although Storm agreed to stop, she proceeded to sing a hushed version of her single "We Can't Forget Him" when the attendant stepped away.
"I don't know the issue. No one else has ever had an issue," she said in the video.
"At the end of the day God is glorified!!!! Tell me, how are you choosing love on purpose??? Blessings to you all from your #FearlessFlightSinger 😉 #WeCantForgetHim #TheMaverickWay," she wrote in the caption.
Delta apparently didn't love the performance either. In a Monday statement to The Times, a spokesperson for the airline said the carrier had "been in contact with the customer" and added that for the safety of our customers and crew, it's always important to follow crew instructions."
The spokesperson did not confirm whether the airline had apologized to Storm, as she alleged the company did in a later video.
Meanwhile, Storm was met with a mix of reactions to her performance. Some Instagram users praised her boldness, but others told her she was "completely in the wrong" and accused her of entitlement and being "egotistical." One commenter said the exchange "is giving second hand embarrassment."
As the opinions poured in on the post, the singer replied by asking those who love and support her to "take the good from this video and leave it at that."
"Do not report this man, shame him, or anything negative on my behalf. This was the end of what happened and God received the glory so that’s all that matters to me," she wrote, adding, "To be clear so I don’t have to address anyone personally I have sang on over 50 flights. There were NO LAWS broken here. We boarded the plane and usually that’s when I would take the opportunity to sing but they had the speakers loud and I didn’t want to force it. I then said to my neighbor I really want to sing on this flight bc I felt a pull in my spirit and I told her if God wants me to do it Ill see what things are like when we land.
The "Poor Dat" and "Lazy Love" singer doubled down in a later video, saying that she "had this unction to sing for people" and reiterated that she didn't go through with it until it was announced that the plane had to taxi back to the gate because of a brief maintenance issue. That, she said, felt like a sign from God for her to spring into action.
"It's not about me pressing my beliefs on anybody else," she said. "What's the problem with asking people and them giving me the go [ahead] to share something that I'm proud of, something that God has done for me?"
She told her followers not to question her obedience and reminded them that God calls on people "to cause disruption."
"Even in his word he has told his ppl to disrupt and shake things up for his glory," she wrote. "I urge especially my Christian’s to really have a heart check and a word check before attacking another one of your kind. I’m up for this bc I know to whom much is given much is required, but one thing I can’t let rock when I have the platform to correct, is ignorance. People should be informed. I believe my music will also show us who really is a believer and who is not! Let’s all pray and watch and all will be well!"
But that argument didn't fly either.
"Girl you don’t even know the potential consequences you created for that man who was simply doing his job. What is actually wrong with you. Time & place, you too old to be acting like that," wrote one user.
"U were just trying to be seen… that was not God. That was your PRIDEFUL FLESH! U need to pray on this one love…" added another.
"You’re disgraceful for passive aggressively causing drama because you couldn’t get your way," said another user.
"All I just heard was ‘me, me, me’ in this 'testimony,'" another critic wrote. "Your lack of discernment lead you down a path of entitlement which lead to a disturbance. If one person, flight attendant included, was not okay with your performance, it is considered a disturbance. And the fact that you don’t recognize that, is disturbing."
Nonetheless, Storm thanked Delta for "holding yourself accountable." She also said that she did not want to see negative repercussions for the flight attendant.
"They did reach out to me," she said in a video posted Saturday. "So whoever called [Delta], I can't say thank you because I don't want this man to be reprimanded where he loses his job. I simply want us to keep in mind how to treat each other. There was no rules being broken. It was just me spreading my joy with people after they gave me the go [ahead] to do so. So I just hope if he watches this he's able to learn a valuable lesson on how to treat other people. But I wanna say you guys can stop reaching out to Delta. They have apologized and they are fans of Maverick City."
She added that the best way to support her now is to stream her single, check out the Atlanta-based collective Maveric City Music and pray that it takes home the Grammys.
Maverick City Music's "God Problems" is nominated for contemporary Christian music performance/song and its album, "The Maverick Way," is nominated for gospel album.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.